SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE. An ultimate family favourite with a twist. Bursting with flavour, this is a recipe that will never let you down!
Let’s face it, when we hear Spaghetti Bolognese we think… Italia! However, today’s dish is the infusion of this much loved dish that originated from Bologna, Italy with a South Asian twist. As of recent, Italians across the world have claimed this much loved original dish has been changed in many ways. Too many people with too many fingers in too many pies.
Well guess what, I’m one of those people. Although this famous recipe originated from Italy, I’m a strong advocate of unity around the world. Nothing should stop us from infusing each others dishes to cater to our taste buds. Nothing. Just as long as you pay the respects due to the originators.
Now, the main difference between my spaghetti bolognese recipe in comparison to the well renowned Italian recipes is all in the ground beef. The flavour of the ground beef is enhanced with a distinct flavoursome depth prior to adding the pasta sauce to it. I like to infuse it by cooking it in onions, garlic, ginger and a myriad of spices. By doing so, I’ve found that the dish has much more flavour and depth.
I know you might not expect to add spices such as turmeric which are typically associated with South Asian dishes to spaghetti bolognese, but you will not be disappointed. These subtle changes may be considered sacrilegious to Italian food fanatics, but never you mind. All that matters is that the hint of spice and distinct unmatched flavour will make this dish that tad bit more exquisite.
Growing up in the noughties with my brothers, only meant there was more chance of me watching classic Italian movies. My favourite of all time was… no. Not the Godfather. Wouldn’t that have been cliché? The Bronx Tale. This film just captured my imagination on a new level. I always found myself asking my mother for Spag Bol whilst I watched this classic tale. During the advertisement intermissions I distinctly recollect following the aromatic smell coming from the spices in the ground beef. Once the dish was made, a trickle of olive oil, a slice of garlic bread and BUON APPETITO!
- FOR THE MEAT BASE
- 17 ½ ounces ground/mince beef (500g)
- 4 table spoons olive oil (45ml)
- 2 medium (280g) white onions, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1-inch piece (2.5cm x 2.5cm) fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 2 bay leafs
- salt to taste (2 tea spoons*)
- 1 tea spoon ground coriander
- 1 tea spoon turmeric
- ½ tea spoon ground cumin
- ½ tea spoon chilli powder
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes
- 2 tea spoons double concentrated tomato puree
- 2 tea spoons Italian herb seasoning
- 1 tea spoon black pepper
- ⅓ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 1 table spoon sugar
- OTHER INGREDIENTS
- 17 ½ ounces uncooked spaghetti (500g)
- fresh basil to garnish
- cheese of your choice to garnish
- COOK the spaghetti according to the packet instructions.
- FOR THE MEAT BASE: HEAT the olive oil in a sauce pan over a medium heat. and add the onions and salt. Sweat for 5 minutes.
- ADD the garlic, ginger and bay leafs. Reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 3 minutes.
- ADD the ground beef and allow the meat to cook through over a medium heat for 10 minutes.
- ADD the coriander, turmeric, cumin and chilli powder and cook the ground beef for a further 10 minutes.
- ADD the tomato puree and combine well with the ground beef mixture.
- POUR in the tinned tomatoes and add the Italian herb seasoning, black pepper and sugar to the ground beef. cook for 3 minutes.
- ADD the fresh basil, stir and cook for a further 3 minutes.
- SERVE over warm spaghetti basil and garnish with basil and cheese (if desired)
Steps #6-8 can be substituted by using your favourite pasta sauce if you want to save time. I have tried this and the meat sauce still tastes great because the meat has already been infused with a layer of flavour!